How to deliver on accessibility obligations and aspirations
When asked whether their website is truly accessible, off the record, many digital managers will reply that they really want it to be, but there needs to be more work done. Or they might say they’re not sure, but they (strongly) suspect not.
Years of our automated accessibility testing confirms this. The vast majority of websites do not meet the WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards and have the potential to run into issues.
Accessibility is key
Website accessibility is important. It needs to be taken seriously for three main reasons:
- Legal and regulatory. Depending on the jurisdiction you are based in and the sector you work in it’s very likely there will be a legal or regulatory requirement to be compliant with accessibility guidelines.
- Moral. Your website should be equally accessible to everybody. It’s the right thing to do!
- Commercial. Those groups who benefit from a better user experience thanks to accessibility measures are likely to be a large section of your potential market with huge spending power. Why wouldn’t you want to reach out to them?
Why do so many websites fail accessibility testing?
There are multiple reasons why websites fail accessibility testing and digital teams fail to deliver on both their obligations and aspirations. This can include everything from a lack of awareness of the issue, to it being a low priority compared to other website improvements.
Sometimes there can even be a digital team "mindset" that makes achieving compliance feel too difficult and removed from the normal flow of daily work.
The secret to making it happen
One of the secrets of making your website accessible is to take a highly pragmatic approach so that accessibility compliance and improvement work simply becomes part of everyday activity of the digital team. Accessibility then becomes more manageable and achievable.
You can do this by:
- working out exactly what needs to be done to achieve compliance by carrying out a thorough website accessibility test
- identifying all the small tasks and actions that need to be completed
- prioritizing all the necessary actions and steps
- getting your team to action all the steps in smaller, achievable steps so you keep on moving forwards
- retesting regularly to measure progress and to keep on top of everything that needs to be done.
Why automated testing works
Regular automated website accessibility testing is the perfect way to make accessibility improvements part of your team’s regular activity. While you will still need to make some manual checks, automated testing is far more convenient, efficient and cheaper than taking a wholly manual approach.
Our unique cloud-based accessibility testing can be ordered on-demand when you need it. It identifies the priority areas for attention and even targets different reports to digital managers, page editors and developers. You can get summary information such as the overall percentage of pages which are compliant, but also the ability to drill down to all the detail to make the necessary improvements.
The service is so flexible that you can fit the testing around your process and the way you want to work, rather than the other way around. The testing is based on Sitemorse, a leading and mature digital governance product that’s been around for 15 years and continues to innovate.
Give it a try with no obligations!
The best way to experience our accessibility testing is to give it a try. By clicking on the "Try Now" button on the accessibility.center home page and you can perform a free test on eight web pages on your website. There’s no obligation or strings attached. Give us your name, email and website address and we’ll send you three reports. We’re confident that you’ll be taking the first step to finally delivering on your accessibility obligations and aspirations.
ACCESSIBILITYFIRST is a fit-for-purpose, automated Accessibility as a Service solution. Rather than offering endless reams of reporting, ACCESSIBILITYFIRST provides actionable insights. These are divided between editorial and technical changes and are prioritised in order of importance, so making major improvements can fast and simple.
About the Sitemorse INDEX
Since 2002, the Sitemorse INDEX has provided an independent industry standard for bench-marking digital governance. Sites are reviewed and scored based on some 1,600 tests, checks and measures per page, identifying features that improve optimisation, experience and compliance. Since its inception, it has been the fundamental measure of digital capability for organisations that strive for online excellence.
Scoring highly typically reflects those that have strong digital leadership and understand the importance of providing the best visitor experience possible – and it reflects positively on the entire organisation’s operations and branding.
For further information, please contact Michelle Hay firstname.lastname@example.org.